No panic from Whelan as The Nire stun Carbery
While Waterford's The Nire trailed by six points early in the second half of this semi-final at Clonakilty yesterday, manager Benji Whelan didn't panic.
The Nire 2-15 Carbery 1-13
Cork champions Carbery Rangers led by 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time and that quickly stretched to 1-8 to 0-5. But Whelan had faith in his players' ability and wasn't nervous.
"It's easy to say it now but I wasn't," he said. "We'd kicked three or four balls into the keeper's hands and you can't do that. A team like Carbery Rangers, any Cork champions, they'll murder you when they have possession and we were gifting it back to them, so it was mental stuff.
"Once we cooled down, realised the options we were taking weren't the right ones, we got an awful lot better. Then the goal came and we tacked a few points on."
A Liam Lawlor goal, after the excellent Conor Gleeson's shot hit the crossbar, got them back in it before points from Gleeson and Conor Wall and they slowly reeled in the lead, Wall's free putting them 1-10 to 1-9 in front with five minutes left. While Carbery Rangers forced extra time, it was The Nire's day.
"Where we had them really was on the kickouts," Whelan said, "the ball must have been up here 70pc of the time in the second half and that was the difference. Once we kept it up here, we felt that we were safe enough so that's what we tried to do."
John Hayes's early goal put Carbery Rangers 1-1 to 0-0 ahead, and while he got little change from Thomas O'Gorman, the Cork side pushed on through points from Brian Shanahan and Kevin MacMahon.
The Nire had Conor Gleeson looking lively and Brian Wall was on form, but a five-point half-time deficit extended to six before the fightback.
After The Nire edged in front, John Hayes tied things but Gleeson looked to have got the winner only for Séamus Hayes to then fist another leveller in injury time. Shanahan put the Rosscarbery side ahead in extra time but The Nire had the momentum and moved four ahead when captain Shane Walsh goaled. In the second period, Tommy Wall's save denied Kieran Fitzpatrick - the keeper injured in the process - and with no other goal chances allowed, The Nire weren't going to be denied.
Scorers - The Nire: B Wall 0-6 (5), C Gleeson 0-5, L Lawlor, S Walsh 1-0 each, D Guiry 0-2 (1f), D Guiry, J Mulcahy 0-1 each. Carbery Rangers: J Hayes 1-3 (3f), B Shanahan 0-4 (2f), B Hodnett 0-2, J O'Riordan, K MacMahon, K Fitzpatrick, S Hayes 0-1 each.
THE NIRE: T Wall; T O'Gorman, J McGrath, J Barron; S Ryan, J Walsh, D Ryan; S Walsh, Dylan Guiry; B Wall, S Lawlor, C Guiry; C Gleeson, L Lawlor, Darren Guiry. Subs: K Guiry for C Guiry (51), J Mulcahy for Lawlor (57), Lawlor for B Wall (60, injured), C Mulcahy for J Walsh (77, injured), D Murphy for T Wall (77, injured), K Brazil for Lawlor (80).
CARBERY RANGERS: R Milner; J O'Riordan, T O'Rourke, M Kelly; S Murray, R Kiely, P Hodnett; B Shanahan, J Fitzpatrick; A Jennings, K MacMahon, B Hodnett; C O'Donovan, C O'Rourke, J Hayes. Subs: R Hegarty for Murray (15, injured), K Fitzpatrick for C O'Rourke (half-time), S Hayes for O'Donovan (44), M Mennis for Jennings (45), A Roche for Kelly (49), M Ronan for Thomas O'Rourke (58), Kelly for P Hodnett (68), Jennings for B Hodnett (half-time in extra time), O'Donovan for Mennis (72, black card).
Ref: P O'Sullivan (Kerry).